We know you love your skinny jeans! And we know you love ’em for how long and lean they make your silhouette look. But while they’re a definite wardrobe staple, you should actually ditch them this summer. Why the need for a cool off? Well, your trusty pair can actually cause nerve damage! “The nerve, in some people, is susceptible to compression,” says John England, M.D., a New Orleans neurologist and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “It is a pure sensory nerve—it doesn’t go to muscles or provide strength. Anything that is tight around there could potentially compress the nerve that goes there,” he adds.
Squeezing your legs into a pair of tight denims puts constant pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous (LFC) nerve—a.ka. the nerve that supplies sensation to the surface of your outer thigh. The result? Possible numbness of the leg, stinging pain, oversensitivity to heat, and even atrophied leg tissue in some cases. Eep! The Wall Street Journal also reports that skinny jeans are to blame for lower back pain, yeast infections in women, and a rare condition called lipoatrophia semicircularis, in which horizontal lesions appear around the thighs.
But before you throw away your fave pair, know this: Anything too tight (including belts and shapewear ) can put pressure on the LFC nerve. Your best line of defense? Take a break from demin and go for something more breathable and comfy-chic. Besides, when summer temps spike to unbearable levels, you wouldn’t want to be in something so heavy and constricting, right?